Offset Lithography Printing: What It Is and Why It’s Popular

There are many different types of printing, but offset printing is the most versatile. Therefore making it one of the most frequently used printing methods as well. Also referred to as lithography printing, NH printers are extremely familiar with this process has it holds nearly half of all requested jobs.

However, if you’re new to the printing world, the terminology and processes can quickly become overwhelming. Because it’s the most frequently used type of printing, in this article, we’re keeping things simple and delving into the world of offset printing.

How it works

Lithography earned its name because the imagery is transferred to offset cylinders before the paper cylinder. The process was created on the basis that water and oil do not mix. There are three cylinders used when applying this technique.

Offset printing uses the combination of plates and cylinders, which are run through water and ink to complete the printing process. Transferring from one to another, water sticks to blank areas of the plates, while ink adheres to areas with imagery and text.

For those with a bit more experience – here’s the more technical version of the process:

The first cylinder is mounted with a printing plate, and the image is written with the right side facing up. At this point, ink is applied to the first cylinder, which then transfers the image onto a rubber blanket second cylinder. The process then makes the image ‘mirror’ or reversed. Finally, the image is transferred onto the third cylinder from the rubber blanket of the second cylinder. Although this process sounds pretty complicated, it’s just another day at work for the team here at The Print Factory!

Where lithography is most commonly applied

Although there are several areas in which offset printing is applied, printing textbooks is the most common. After textbooks, novels and periodicals run a close second. Offset printing has been a large part of our society for hundreds of years. In fact, this process was first used at the printing press when the newspaper industry was booming.

printing nh

When it comes to printing, NH professionals, like The Print Factory, are here to alleviate the stress. Since 1982, our team has proudly serviced the greater Nashua region with integrity, dedication, and exemplary customer service. Whether your need is for wedding printing or financial reports, we know how to put ink to paper!

For more information on how we can bring your ideas to life, contact The Print Factory at (603) 880-4519.